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The effect of statins on average survival in randomised trials, an analysis of end point postponement
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  • Published on:
    Do Statins only postpone death by three or four days?

    Kristensen et al. report results from a meta-analysis of statin trials on years of life gained published in BMJ Open in 2015 (1). The authors conclude that death was postponed between -5 and 19 days in primary and between -10 and 27 days in secondary prevention trials. The paper has been widely quoted in newspapers under headlines such as "Statins are NOT a magic bullet for longer life" and "Statins may only postpone de...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Error in median values
    • Jesper Hallas, Professor
    • Other Contributors:
      • Malene Lopez Kristensen, Palle Mark Christensen

    One reader has notified us about an error in our manuscript regarding the calculated median values for postponement of death in secondary prevention trials. These errors have no implications for the conclusions or the discussion of the study.

    In the abstract line 16 p.1 "and secondary prevention trials were 3.2 and 4.1 days," The correct line is "and secondary prevention trials were 5,8 and 4,1 days,"

    In...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Re:The effect of statins on average survival - revisited
    • Jesper Hallas, Professor
    • Other Contributors:
      • Malene Lopez Kristensen, Palle Mark Christensen

    We can hardly disagree about the limitations pointed out by Dr Chang et al and by Roger Marshall. We emphasized in the discussion section that the postponements (or increment in restricted mean survival) calculated by us were restricted to the trials' running time, usually in the order of 5 years. We fully agree - and have emphasized in our paper - that they do not answer the question on what would be the benefit from a l...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    The effect of statins on average survival - revisited
    • Shu-Ching Chang, Biostatistician
    • Other Contributors:
      • Mansen Wang, James G. Beckerman, Mark Sanz, Ty J. Gluckman, Gary L. Grunkemeier

    The recent paper by Kristensen et al. [1] examined 11 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of statins and concluded that they provide "a surprisingly small average gain in overall survival within the trials' running time", and that "The median postponement of death for primary and secondary prevention trials were 3.2 and 4.1 days, respectively."

    This appears to question the value of statins, yet the information a...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Assessing postponement time

    Kristensen et al [1] have estimated "postponement" of death in trials due to statins. Their finding is that postponement is measured in days - median pooled 3 to 4 days - which suggests statins have scarcely any benefit. It may well be that their benefits are, indeed, minimal, but the point of this note is not to question efficacy of statins, rather it is to suggest that the statistical analysis presented in this study...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.